UTA will now have a vegan option.

Mexican restaurant La Blue Casa will transition into a vegan restaurant, said Gabriela Lopez, store co-owner and chef. Starting in February, only vegan dishes will be available. Until then, both vegan and traditional meat plates will be served, she said.

Lopez and her husband Raj Attur, who co-owns the restaurant, are both vegans and weren’t bothered with having meat dishes in their restaurant, she said. The documentary Cowspiracy caused a change of heart.

“Everything related to food I’ve seen, but this one was incredible,” Lopez said. “Sometimes you just have a situation or episode in your life when everything changes and this was the key for me.”

Lopez said the revamped vegan menu will feature plates with mushrooms, potatoes and refried beans, among other options. La Blue Casa will still be a Mexican restaurant, but dishes that contain animal products will be substituted with options like black bean patties, soy chicken and cheese made from almond cream.

“Our food is still going to be tasty,” she said. “It’s still going to be rich in flavor. We just don’t want to cause harm on the planet.”

The sauces at the restaurant all will be plant-based as well, Lopez said. Beginning Monday, all vegan dishes will be $1 off and during the 134-day transition campaign. Lopez encourages the campus to stop in and try out the vegan menu.

Accounting junior Raul Gonzalez said although he’s not vegan, he would still visit La Blue Casa to test out the vegan menu. Gonzalez said the only time he attempted to eat healthy was when he stopped drinking sodas for a year, although he gave that up.

“It’s one of the only places that still makes good food around here,” he said.

Journalism freshman Nisreen Salem said for two years she’s been a vegetarian, eats some animal products, and is pleased a nonmeat food option is coming to campus. She said there are numerous Muslims on campus who only eat halal meat, but eat vegetarian meat as a second option.

“Whenever I’m in the UC I can’t go to Chick-fil-A or Subway,” she said. “It would be really cool to have something like that.”

Lopez said when the restaurant opened in May it stayed packed and had good business. She said during the summer business dropped off considerably and they are still trying to bounce back from that.

She said she hopes the new change will bring about more new customers. She said they’ll hand out flier to customers to help educate people about the effects meat production has on the planet.

“We can’t propose change without a reason,” she said. “This change should bring a new fresh option.”



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